Library: Write a novel in 30 days, you say?

Published 10:19 am Tuesday, November 13, 2018

By James Gardner

November is usually the time of year for eating, giving thanks and wondering why stores are playing Christmas music so early.

November is also NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where people try to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, which is way harder than eating turkey without napping afterward.

Even writing without a 30-day deadline isn’t always turkey sandwiches and cranberry dressing. Even the literary giant Ernest Hemingway once said writing is getting out your typewriter and bleeding, but many of us would rather not bleed if we can help it.

Writing may be a struggle, but I prefer to follow the words of Nike and just do it. Don’t worry about writing genius-level prose. Just write and find your voice.

What is your voice? That is something you have to discover. Look to the Clark County Public Library’s shelves for what inspires you.

Do you want your readers to feel passion? Terror? Do you want them to think about their world in a new way?

The library has fiction ranging from Stephen King to Karen Kingsbury, from David Baldacci to Debbie Macomer.

Have trouble finding books to suit you? The librarians are chocked full of reading suggestions.

If you need some guidance, there are quite a few books that talk about the writing process.

Need some ideas to get you started? Try “The 3 A.M. Ephiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction” by Brian Kiteley (808.3 Kite).

We also have “First Draft in 30 Days: a Novel Writer’s System for Building a Complete and Cohesive Manuscript” by Karen Weisner (808.3 Weis) if you want to truly get that first draft of your novel done in 30 days.

Whether you’re looking for help with dialogue or how to write a thrilling mystery, there are books you can check out that can help.

If you need a creative space, there are computers you check out to type your novels or bring your laptop and take advantage of the free Wi-Fi.

Download a song or some background noise to pump through your headphones and be inspired (unless you’re easily distracted by music). There are plenty of places in the library to set up your writing space and create.

What do you do once you have a draft or if you are stuck and need your creativity jumpstarted? Come by the Write Local group and talk with writers from different genres for advice and inspiration.

The writer’s journey can seem lonely, but you also don’t have to be alone.

Writing doesn’t have to be as tough as Hemingway said. I like to  remember what Stephen King said about writing: writers only need to do two things: reading and writing. The library can help you do both.

— Internet 1, today. John Maruskin goes over the basics of Internet searching.

— Kentucky Picture Show, Wednesday. Bumbling Inspector Clouseau travels to Rome to catch a notorious jewel thief known as “The Phantom” before he conducts his most daring heist yet: a princess’ priceless diamond with one slight imperfection, known as “The Pink Panther.”

—-Trivia, Wednesday. Reference librarian Jeff Gurnee is at the Engine House Pizza Pub every Wednesday night with trivia challenges.

—Book Lunch, Thursday. This month, we’ll be reading and discussing “The Patron Saint of Ugly” by Marie Manilla. Books are available at the circulation desk.

— Write Local, Friday. Local writers (maybe you?) read and discuss works in progress.

Wherever you write, whatever you write, keep writing this NaNoWriMo and beyond.

James Gardner is a circulation librarian at the Clark County Public Library. He can be reached at james.clarkbooks@gmail.com.